The Sahitya Akademi, an autonomous body working with the Ministry of Culture, said the ban on the book The Adivasi Will Not Dance is a state government decision and it will only interfere in it if the author approaches the body.
“Sahitya Akademi will only ban a book if it receives a legal notice. The ban by the Jharkhand government was not informed officially to us. We came to know about it through the media,” an official from the Sahitya Akademi said.
“We are here to promote talented authors who deserve limelight. Banning a book is a decision that is taken by either a court or a government. However, if the author approaches us, we will discuss the matter in our executive meeting.”
The Adivasi Will Not Dance — a collection of short stories published by Speaking Tiger — is Santhal writer Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar’s second book.
His first book The Mysterious Ailment of Rupi Baskey won him the Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar in 2015.
The Jharkhand government has recently imposed a ban on it stating that the content of the book is obscene and derogatory to the Santhal women.
The 34-year-old author, who was a state government employee working as a medical doctor at the Additional Health Centre in Pakur district, has since been suspended.